Feb 7, 2015
USAF T-X: Northrop-Bae Systems turns to a new prototype, abandoning a modified Hawk
The shift is more bold than it is surprising. The team is paying for a brand-new prototype despite a slump in defense spending. But it has become increasingly evident that the Hawk is unsuited for the mission due to shortfalls in the fast-jet trainer’s ability to sustain Gs, perform high angle-of-attack maneuvering and execute tight turn rate and radius.
BAE’s Hawk would struggle to meet sustained G, high angle of attack and tight turn radius requirements sought in the U.S. Air Force’s T-38 replacement program.
The Air Force intends to buy as many as 350 of the trainers as part of a larger T-X system, including advanced training aids such as a sophisticated ground-based training platform and aids.